Student - March 19, 2009

SMALL LIBRARY IN THE BASEMENT AT THE LEEUWENBORCH

The Leeuwenborch is going to keep a small library in the basement of the present library – which has to make way for extra education facilities. It will provide an ‘info point’ with a collection of ten thousand books and fifty journals. The rest will disappear to the Forum or will be given away. The basement will also offer space for up to eighty students to work.

With this gesture the original plan to shift the whole Leeuwenborch library to the Forum is abandoned. That plan was met with strong resistance from students and staff of the Social Sciences Group who were not happy with the prospect of having to make their way to the Forum for every book or magazine.
The new ‘info point’ will house just a small selection of the more than 110 thousand books and 1700 metres of journals at the Leeuwenborch library. According to librarian Gerrie Holmer, there will be room for books published since 2000, for fifty of the current 420 academic journals, and for newspapers and popular magazines.
Of the books being transferred to the Forum library, the Leeuwenborch is allowed to put twenty thousand on the open shelves, and the rest will go to the storeroom. This is quite generous to the SSG, according to head librarian Ger Naber. ‘What is being added now is more that what’s on the open shelves in the forum from the other four knowledge units.’ About ten thousand other books from the Leeuwenborch of which the Forum library already has copies will be given away to Leeuwenborch staff and students.
Some pruning is needed if all the extra books and journals are to fit into the store. One way of doing this will be not to keep printed copies of journals that are available digitally. Holmer: ‘We are now taking a good look at what can go. That’s being done in the Forum too. We work on the principle that access to these works will still be guaranteed.’ Holmer makes no bones about the fact that it’s a painful operation.
The Leeuwenborch library has to be emptied by July. That is too soon to get the whole collection ready for the move; all the books have to be numbered according to the Forum system. For this reason the collection will be temporarily housed in building 122, the former climate-controlled rooms of Plant. Not the ten thousand books for the info point, though – or the twenty thousand destined for the shelves of the Forum library. They will go (whether temporarily or not) to the Forum library.
The move starts on 6 July. After that, renovations to the library area and the basement will start straightaway. Some new features such as windows will have to be put in to make sure the basement meets standards for working conditions. The downsized library with eighty study places should be ready by March next year.

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